Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:18)
Growing and maturing in the Christian faith means we are moving more and more in the direction of being a “Yet Christian.” In our passage for today, you need to see what Habakkuk was experiencing before he got to “Yet.”
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
When we understand the cultural context at the time of Habakkuk, we see that he is describing a calamity of cosmic proportions. Crop failure and the death of the livestock would spell utter disaster for the people of Judah. But the inspired prophet wrote that no matter what happened in his life, he would continue to rejoice in the Lord. The waves of challenge would not tip Habakkuk over, no matter how relentlessly they washed over him, because he refused to take his eyes off of His God, He who can be trusted in all circumstances even when He cannot be traced. Think about it this way: In the face of utter hopelessness, Habakkuk still had hope because of the One He hoped in.
To praise God in times of plenty and peace is easy; to praise Him in times of poverty and pain is hard. Yet this is the key to being a Yet Christian. It is easy to be loyal to our Lord when He is leading us through a period when the sky is blue, the clouds are fleecy, and the sun is shining brightly. But what about those days when thunderclouds roll in, blocking the sun, and storm winds begin to shriek? A Yet Christian not only sees the Savior in the storm, but understands that the Savior has sent the storm for God’s glory and for the Christian’s ultimate good.
That is the mark of a Yet Christian. Is it your mark today?
If your answer is something like, “Uh . . . not yet,” I’d like to offer you one final word of comfort. In an earlier chapter, Habakkuk provided us with the key to becoming a Yet Christian: “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). The key to living a victorious Christian life, no matter how difficult your circumstances, is to live by faith. Believe me, I know full well that is easier said than done! But know too that when you fall short of that goal, your God has not departed from you or turned His back on you; He is still at work within you, making you a joyful Yet Christian, and He will not finish His work until you cross the Jordan. You have His Word on that!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!